Thailand has successfully reduced poverty over the past three decades from over 65 percent in 1988 to under 10 percent in 2018. However, the growth of household incomes and consumption growth both have stalled nationwide in recent years.
This resulted in a reversal in the progress of poverty reduction in Thailand with the number of people living in poverty rising, according to a new World Bank report which analyzes recent poverty and inequality trends based on official statistics.
Poverty rate increased from 7.2 percent to 9.8 percent
Between 2015 and 2018, the poverty rate in Thailand increased from 7.2 percent to 9.8 percent, and the absolute number of people living in poverty rose from 4.85 million to more than 6.7 million. The increase in poverty in 2018 was widespread – occurring in all regions and in 61 out of 77 provinces.
In the Central and Northeast, the number of poor increased by over half a million in each region during the same period. The conflict-affected South became the region with the highest poverty rate for the first time in 2017.
The report finds that the recent increase in poverty coincides with emerging and shifting economic and environmental challenges in the economy.
Over the past few years, Thailand’s growth rate has been lower than other large economies in the developing East Asia and Pacific region. Thailand had one of the lowest GDP growth rates in the…